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'Thou glorious kingdome, thou chiefe of empires': Persia in seventeenth-century travel literature

Houston, C. (2009) 'Thou glorious kingdome, thou chiefe of empires': Persia in seventeenth-century travel literature. Studies in Travel Writing, 13 (2). pp. 141-152. ISSN 1755-7550

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/13645140902857240

Abstract/Summary

This article discusses a series of texts by or about travellers to Safavid Persia in the early seventeenth century, and in particular the literature surrounding the Sherley brothers. It looks at the ways in which, in order to encourage support for the voyages they described, English travel writers emphasised the potential for closer Anglo-Persian relations. In doing so, such narratives took advantage of a developing awareness of sectarian division within Islam in order to differentiate Persia from the Ottoman Empire. The article then examines how The Travailes of the Three English Brothers (1607) by Day, Rowley and Wilkins, built on the possibilities suggested by the travel writings, and specifically their recognition of Islamic sectarian division, to develop an idealised model of how relations between Persia and England might function. More broadly, these texts demonstrate travellers’ interest in looking for potential correlation between Christian and Muslim identities during this period.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Early Modern Research Centre (EMRC)
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Literature
ID Code:30612
Publisher:Routledge

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